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Over-Easy

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It was exactly the kind of place he would have picked:Over Easy. Diner. Thinking of Dad.
a diner-style country restaurant
where the food was filling and mattered far more
than the outdated decor which faded into the background behind the all-day breakfasts with options like homefries:
grilled or deep-fried.

Pancakes came in stacks and biscuits with gravy was more common than yogurt.

The coffee was fresh, hot and bottomless, (though he would have preferred a cup of milk, or Pepsi). served by waitresses with friendly smiles, fast feet, circus-performer balance, and sharp tongues.

They delivered jokes and warmth and a comforting familiarity to the regulars.

Chances were good you might run into an old friend or two.

The morning had already delivered the kinds of stories I would have shared with him the next time we talked.

{[Josh, 16,  is nervous and excited about starting his new job. This morning, we went for his pre-employment drug screening.

The tech had a chronic scowl (aka “resting b* face”), but when Josh went in to the bathroom, she cracked a huge smile and said “So, has he been holding his urine in all morning?” Apparently she found it amusing that Josh asked her “how much” she needed.

As she was finishing up, she handed Josh a paper and he waived it at me and said ‘here’ and I just looked at him. She laughed this time, and said ‘oh, you’re a big boy now, you’re getting a job, you can take care of your own stuff now”.

I know my dad would have loved how Josh’s face turned to instant flames as he stopped flapping that paper. ]}

Nothing extraordinary, but it would have been a good laugh when I told him later.

I dropped Josh off at school, and feeling a bit nostalgic, found myself inside, smiling at the waitress, enjoying the heft of the coffee cup, and indulging in my favorite sport: people watching.

And then the feels came. It was the old man sitting in the booth alone.

And realizing, I was the woman sitting in the other booth. Alone.

As he shuffled out the door, I wondered if he was missing someone too.

I didn’t want to cry in public, as one of “those moments” flared, grateful for a distraction, I whipped out my phone.

I made it through the meal. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. Feels and all.
I thought to myself “Managing not to cry was a bonus” and wiped my face one more time.

At that moment, I somehow managed to stab my eyeball with the corner of the napkin.

(I know, ‘stab’ seems a bit dramatic for a napkin, but trust me, when it’s one of those thick, super-duty ones, folded sternly, the corner of it hitting your naked eyeball is in fact ‘stab’ worthy).

I nearly yelped, and could not stop the flood of tears from that eye. Water.Works.One Eye. It was lovely.

As I was sitting on the couch, lights out, sunglasses blocking the sting of any glare (it really hurt for a while!), it snuck up on me just how funny he would have found every last bit of this.

I could almost hear him saying “girl, I don’t know about you” as he shook his head and laughed.